Halloween is fast approaching, and millions of cute Tarzans, Cinderellas, and Catwomen will be roaming neighborhoods demanding candy from every innocent household in America. How sweet. Furthermore, and more to the point of this article, millions of young men and women around the nation will also be engaging in identity-swap for the evening (as if most Americans didn’t already have a confused and entangled identity crisis). Here too one will find Tarzans, Cinderellas, and Catwomen. Except, at somewhere along the way, many of these young men and women have bought into the thrilling idea of transforming oneself into a sex-piece for Halloween, an object to be looked at and drooled over, instead of a beauty to be respected and loved. Young girls used to dress up in costumes for Halloween in search of candy, but today young women are making themselves into candy through their costumes – eye-candy, if you will. “It’s not enough to be Cinderella, but I must be a risqué-Cinderella; not just any catwoman, a racy one! How original! How exciting! How…!” … wait a second… how depraved, how terrible, how sad.
Halloween therefore affords me the opportunity to talk about what it means to have a true identity, especially in a culture that is saturated with anonymity and mis-identity, and how our identity as daughters of the Most High God urges us towards true freedom in modesty.
Often, people speak of the illusory self as wearing masks. Now, masks are a kind of defense mechanism. Against what, you might ask? Against being truly known. Intimacy is this: knowing another and being known. A man and wife are intimate with one another because they know one another, both in the biblical and in the intellectual sense. But the old adage tells us that we cannot give what we do not have. Therefore it follows that we cannot be intimate (give ourselves) if we do not possess ourselves (know ourselves). Masks prevent us from knowing and giving ourselves in true intimacy, and every human being desires intimacy.
To be a saint means to be your true self! Therefore the battle between my false and true self lies at the very core of my salvation and sanctity.
So, where does one find their true self, you might ask? Let me remind you, as I so often need to remind myself, that you are a child of God. That is your identity. Let the truth of this reality sink its roots deep into your heart and pervade your entire being. And let your dress this Halloween reflect the identity you have as a daughter of the King of the universe. Let your outer beauty and countenance reflect the inner beauty and truth that exists in your soul in knowing your identity as God’s daughter, like a shining mirror. Do not let the lies and pressures of this world taint or lackluster this mirror of yours. Let God say to you, “You are my beloved daughter. You are my beloved daughter. You are my beloved daughter.” As many times as you need to hear it. Repeat this over and over in your head and your heart. Because it is true! And we live in a world that is loud with lies, so don’t be surprised if you have to repeat this simple truth over and over again until it begins to set in and move your heart.
So on this Halloween, a holiday when so many people feel “free” by taking on another identity, escaping from the self, don’t forget that Jesus has given you an identity more precious than anything the world can offer. Many girls will dress up like princesses for Halloween, but never forget that you actually are a princess! You are a princess of God, you are His daughter. This is a fact, this is reality! And the true spirit, power, and freedom of modesty stem from the recognition of this identity as a daughter of God, the all-powerful and all-loving King of the universe.